What to do with gaps between turf

3 min read

winter lawn repairs

If your newly laid lawn look healthy but you can see gaps between turfs, brush a mix of enriched soil and grass seed into the cracks, keep well-watered and those lines will soon blend in. More information in this article.

Why am I seeing gaps between turf?

When you lay turf for a new lawn, it’s important that the pieces butt up tightly together. You will be able to see where the join is, but you shouldn’t be able to see a tangible gap between turfs.

However, laying turf isn’t as easy as it looks when you see it done on TV. It’s difficult to get those tight joins – especially if you are trimming and shaping pieces as you go.

If you turfs look fresh green and healthy then the gaps between turfs are easily remedied. I’ll explain how later in this article

However, if your new lawn looks dry and brown and the gaps between turfs seem to be getting wider, you may have a problem with shrinkage.

Why does turf shrink?

The main reason for turf shrinkage is a severe lack of water. Plant roots are roughly 80% water and just like a big juicy apple that doesn’t get eaten, as plants dry out, they get smaller. Some soils are also susceptible to shrinkage when they are too dry. Soil with a lot of organic content will contract when it’s dehydrated, so will clay based soil.

shrinkage causing gaps between turfs

Lack of water is the most common cause for gaps between turfs. In this picture, it’s clear from the health of the grass that the newly laid turf has dried out.

How to fix gaps between turf
Overcoming shrinkage

Make sure your new turf is getting enough water. Gently lift one corner of a turf. You should see new, bright white roots beginning to form. You should also be able to see that the soil beneath the turf is good and damp. Not waterlogged, but damp enough so that a tissue pressed onto the soil very quickly mops up the water.

Now disturb the surface of the soil – is it still damp 4-5cm below the surface? If none of those 3 qualities rings true, you need to adjust your watering regime.

If after a couple of days of increased watering, you still have gaps between turf, you will need to fill them.

Products that can help…
Miracle-Gro EverGreen Enriched Lawn Soil Garden Sprinkler
Buy lawn dressing Buy lawn sprinkler


Filling gaps

Filling gaps between turfs will sound quite fiddly, but actually, there are a couple of tricks you can do to make it easier.

You will need:

  • Bags of sieved soil
  • Grass seed
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Trowel
  • A stiff broom

Wait until the grass is fairly dry – this is a job to do just before you carry out the daily watering.

Empty one bag of sieved soil into the wheelbarrow and mix it with one handful of grass seed.

Now, using a trowel, spread the soil and seed mixture over the gap between turves. Don’t worry about being too precise

Use the broom to brush the soil mix into the gaps

Continue until all gaps between turfs are filled – mixing more soil and seed as required.

Water the lawn thoroughly and keep it watered until all of the grass is well established and you can no longer see the joins between turfs.

Where to buy sieved topsoil online

Order grass seed online

Check out these turf laying tips from a professional landscaper



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